Landscape Planning: A How To Guide: Part 1
Posted by: Samuel Hirshfield on August 26, 2015
One often-overlooked key to a polished landscape is having an overall plan for your yard. Landscape planning is an easy way to ensure that your yard has a finished, thought-out look.
Join us for this three part series on transferring your vision to reality – Tips for Planning your Landscape, Tricks for Drawing your Landscape Plan and Steps for Putting your Landscape Plan to Action.
Planning Your Landscape – Where to Begin?
You can accomplish a landscape plan with as little as some graph paper and colored pencils. While larger projects may require a professional plan, as this typically includes a survey, topographical map, elevations and final renderings, there are plenty of tips & tricks available for the DIYer.
The first step is to take inventory of your yard and how you’d like to best utilize it moving forward.
- Consider your approach. Will you pull everything out? Or are there some mature trees, plants or beds that you’d like to keep? There are advantages to starting from scratch; however, keeping some existing plants and trees can give your yard a more established feel and provide some cost savings.
- Sketch a rough, base map of your yard, taking into account permanent structures – such as large trees, driveways or paths, yard entrances, house perimeter, pools, sheds or other permanent structures.
- Think through any future needs or plans. Are you planting any trees, or planning to build any structures that will change sun and shade areas? Keep in mind that it’s easier to incorporate those changes now rather than moving plants down the road.
- Study your yard – and make notes – at different times of day and in different weather patterns. Note where the sun hits throughout the day as well as where rain pools.
- Consider the style of your home and find styles that you like. Pinterest can be a great source. Are these landscaping styles more linear? Or do they have more of a curving, flowing feel to them?
- Think through how you currently use your outdoor space as well as how you’d like to use your outdoor space. Would you like space for entertaining, for children to play, for outdoor tool or car storage?
Be sure to also consider what tools you’ll need for the demo process as well as the landscaping process. Renting a skid steer for grading and leveling or a mini excavator for tree or bush installation can greatly diminish your manual workload, which may be an important consideration when undertaking a large landscaping job!
All of these considerations and planning will come into play for the next phase of the process – Drawing your landscape plan.